volume difference between 7 and 30 watts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by b-kowal, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. b-kowal

    b-kowal Member

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    Hi all i have a 30 watt head that i love but it is to loud for my use ( i play at home). Im thinking of getting a 1/4 power switch installed by the manufacturer, he told me it would drop it to 7 watts. My question is will it be worth it? My concern would be, the volume difference would be like a few clicks on an attenuator, which still wouldnt be low enough. Any input would help. Thanks Brian
     
  2. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    7 watts is still pretty loud...
    How tolerant are the people who you are taming it for? I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that you can't play a tube amp around the wife and kids. It's just too loud.
     
  3. KCWM

    KCWM Supporting Member

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    I don't remember the specifics, but I remember reading something along the lines of this:

    Cutting the wattage of an amp in half does not mean you are going to get half of the volume. So, a 50w amp is not necessarily going to be half as loud as a 100w amp. But a 10W amp would be.

    What a higher wattage amp does is give you more room before you start to naturally distort.

    A 5w Valve Jr is quite loud.
     
  4. Radagacuca

    Radagacuca Member

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    imho it´s not worth it... i have an orange tiny terror that switches from 15 to 7 watts. the overall volume is not much less to my ears. it just sounds a little thinner at 7 watts. but the master volume on the tt works great.
    i also have a cornell rambler that switches form 15 to 3 Watts. the 3 watt volume is more usable for home use, but still too loud considering you need to crank it quite a bit to get the best out of it. the rambler at 3 watts sounds more dull and less dynamic compared to the great 15watt setting.
    so imho, if you need low volumes for home use and want crunch/od/distortion tones a modeler may be better suited. maybe not as fancy but way more practical imho.
     
  5. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    That is correct sir.
     
  6. Simon

    Simon Supporting Member

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    Get yourself a Bumbox 1 watt head, or an amp with power scaling. Im in love with my Suhr Badger.
     
  7. kovachian

    kovachian Member

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    I wouldn't bother with a low power switch, your situation sounds like a good job for an attenuator, or a modeller.
     
  8. cochese

    cochese Member

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    I had borrowed the Fuchs Luck 7 and even that was too loud for me to crank. Volume in terms of watts vs the human ears ability to hear in decibels is quite different. I find an attenuator helps and also baffles work well. I have my Fender Deluxe (22 watts) plugged into a 112 Cab with a plexiglass baffle with a sound blanket draped over it and can run the amp without an attenuator. Another solution is if you have a studio setup you could really baffle the amp in another room and close mic it and just run it through your newr field monitors. This is what many people do in the studio including people like Van Halen.

    It's really about matching the amp to the room.
     
  9. guitarboy_02451

    guitarboy_02451 Member

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    7 watts is loud, i.e. Lucy 7 or Dr. Z - Mini Z.
    But, 1. Why not use an attenuator? And two, why not add a small 2nd amp to your collection?
     
  10. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Why not turn down the 30W amp?
    Because it doesn't sound the same.
    Ah-ha!
    Nothing will sound the same turned down and turning up a low power amp still does not sound the same as a bigger amp turned up.

    Try an OD pedal and eq if you want OD at low levels.
     
  11. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    My preference is the 30-watt range for the perfect balance of headroom and break.
    But,
    When I have to play quietly sometimes at home (late nights) I use pedals to get the dirt and run the amp clean.

    It works still and sounds great especially with all these killer pedals out now.
     
  12. cochese

    cochese Member

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    Not entirely true. Your basing this statement on the perception of the human ear. I'm sure there are quite a number of well known guitar tones that have been recorded that could fool you if you knew the size of the amp. Even a 100 watt amp can sound small if you're playing a stadium. I played at a huge ballroom in NY once and they provided double stack Marshalls. They would take your head off in front of them while the musicians on the other side of the stage 30' away could not even hear them that well.

    Amps sound different every few feet. A 20 watt 112 combo on the floor on a crowded stage may not cut it but try putting that same amp at ear level. There are just so many factors and wattage is only one of them. Amount of speakers, size of room, etc. Let's face it, playing at home is not a real world playing situation. Most amps were designed to be played in the context of a band. For home use a 1 to 3 watt amp is probably all most people need but how much would most people be willing to spend on an amp with such limited use.
     
  13. kmcmichael

    kmcmichael Member

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    I have an Alessandro plott that is about 7 watts and it is pretty loud. I use an attenuator that cuts it down to .7, it is still pretty loud but I can play it with no complaints from my neighbors......my wife still thinks it is too loud. I can get a great low volume jazz sound without the attenuator and the amp on 2.
     
  14. b-kowal

    b-kowal Member

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    thanks for the input, i personally dont think its worth it. I may look into something with powerscaling. thanks guys. brian
     
  15. Rogue

    Rogue Member

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    For less than $100 on ebay you can pick up a guitar port. There are others that are better than that, but I'm just speaking of the only one I know and have any experience with. Plug in, choose your amp and effects, play at computer speaker volume OR put on some headphones and play whenever you want.

    I've got a guitar port and while it is certainly not the real deal, it is convenient as hell. Plus you get a tuner, you can load in tunes and half speed them and play along, and if you've got recording software on your computer you can most likely set guitar port as an input and record....anytime you want.

    Family asleep and you've got the ich to play...no problem. Yeah, it doesn't sound all that great, but by the time you get your amp that low a volume it isn't going to sound all that great either. The speakers just aren't designed to do it.

    Mine is a love hate relationship. I hate it because it's not substitute for the real thing. I love it because I can play whenever I get the urge without bothering the family.

    Just a thought.
     
  16. CNOTE

    CNOTE Member

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    Tone Terrific and Sniper-V are right on. With all the pedals out there, just let the noise at lower levels sound nicer.

    I'm moving out a 20W Head and replacing it with a 50W Head. Strictly for home use. My Carr Mercury works very well with pedals too. It's a great amp.
     
  17. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    I biggest difference I think you would notice is that a smaller wattage amp is easier to keep the volume low and in general will sounds better at lower volumes.

    Sometimes these lower power switches really take away from the tone of the amp. I know on my 50Watt marshall silver jubilee, the 25Watt switch just makes the amp sounds muddy and undefined....
     
  18. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I don't know about the Jubilee but I have had several other amps with 1/2 power switches and though they seem to go a bit muddy, I find that you just have to turn up some treble and presence and maybe turn down the gain to bring back the definition.
     
  19. NatDeroxL7

    NatDeroxL7 Member

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    Here comes the obligatory Spinal Tap Reference.....

    It's 23 louder, obviously
     
  20. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    7x2=14 14x2=28, a little more than 20%louder.
     

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